Seven Vietnamese crewmen who jumped into Stanley Harbour from their Falklands’ licensed fishing vessel in the early hours of Sunday morning were later found safe and well by a local resident.
Harbour Master Malcolm Jamieson says that the Royal Falkland Islands Police and the Fisheries Department were informed that the men were reported missing from the jigger SING YUNG YU No.8 and a search of the harbour was carried out by launches which were later joined by RAF Search and Rescue helicopter with FISHOPS coordinating the search.
The individuals were subsequently found by a member of the public on the Stanley Bypass Road and delivered to the police station. Having made no complaint of ill treatment onboard the vessel, the individuals were taken to KEMH to be interviewed by immigration officials with the assistance of a neutral interpreter. The individuals were housed and fed at Lookout Lodge overnight.
During their time ashore, the crew showed no signs, and made no complaint, of any maltreatment onboard their vessel. It appears their motivation in coming ashore was in order to speak to their families for their national New Year. Having achieved this, the individuals expressed a wish to return to their vessel, rather than be repatriated to their home country.
The Falkland Island Government would like to thank all individuals and entities involved in the search and rescue operation. A full debrief and review of procedures is currently being undertaken.